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To create a real instrument track, click the Plus button in the lower left. Real instrument tracks are for recording any type of instrument that makes sound out into the open air. This can include anything recorded using a microphone, such as a vocal, an acoustic instrument like a guitar, or a drum, or even an amplifier that a bass or an electric guitar might be playing through. Create a real instrument track if you're going to be recording something that makes its own sound which you intend to capture through a microphone or line input. I am going to need to record acoustic guitar during our tracking sessions later, and I will be putting it in this real instrument track.
I am going to go ahead and name it, and I will double-check my Input settings as well to make sure it is set to my Apogee ONE. And I can click on my parameters here and make sure that in fact my external phantom power mic is selected. Right now the Recording Level is cranked up quite a bit. I want to make sure we don't overload that when I do that, so I'm just pulling it down a little to set a better level in just a moment, and everything else here is just fine how I want it to be. I will close that up. So the first thing we need to do is actually set a good level for the guitar to come through this microphone.
So what I am going to do is make sure that mic is positioned close to my guitar and I am going to strum and we are going to set a level here, and I want you to keep your eye on the levels that are going to be moving up here in the upper left, and we are going to set our levels so that we are really getting close to the top of these meters but not peaking out. We'll see that as an example. The microphone is currently live, and you can actually see the meters moving right now just while I am talking. But I am going to strum the guitar and make sure that we are not overloading the input here. (music playing) Did you notice how, over there on the left, the LEDs are triggering the clipping lights here on the left, and you notice that they filled in the entire region and they're going red on us? So the thing to do is to pull down our input quite a bit here and see if we can get this in a nice, more acceptable region.
So when you're doing a level test, you want to strum or play the instrument that you're playing at the loudest that you would be playing it in the actual performance. So what happens a lot of times people will check a level and do something like this. (music playing) [00:02:1655] Okay, that's kind of quiet, pull it up, pull it up, and then when they actually get around to playing, they thrash and they are overloading everything. So make sure you try to play the way that you are going to be playing when you actually do record the instrument, so let's see what happens if we actually play some chords. (music playing) Still seems to be pretty loud.
So rather than just keep tweaking this, I am going to try to use GarageBand's Automatic Level Control. So if you turn this on and then play, GarageBand will automatically set the level for us. Let's try that. (music playing) Made a couple of changes, so let's see how that actually sounds. (music playing) That's a pretty good level. You don't want to peak out, but if that occasionally gets up into the yellow, that's just fine.
You can choose to record your real instrument completely dry with no effects, or you can add some effects or plug-ins, like compression or EQ or even a little reverb while you record. For starters, GarageBand includes a bunch of presets for the most common real instruments, which are essentially broken down into acoustic guitars, band instruments, bass drums, podcastings, if you are doing voiceover for podcasting or other types of vocals, and including this one may seem strange--guitars previous version. So basically the electric guitar presets from previous versions of GarageBand before they added the new electric guitar track type and all of its bells and whistles, which we will be covering just a couple of movies from now.
So I will choose Acoustic Guitars. In order to be able to hear what GarageBand is doing in terms of processing our sound and using some of the effects presets is you need to actually turn Monitoring on and if you have headphones on and no speakers currently turned up, you can use the no feedback protection version of this. But if you do have speakers on and a microphone plugged in at the same time, you could run into feedback, so you are going to want to just choose the Regular On. I am going to go New Feedback Protection and choose Acoustic Guitars, since I am going to be playing Acoustic Guitar, and here what GarageBand offers as some starting places for sounds.
Click on Bright, and Bright sounds like this. (music playing) Okay, let's try the Large Reverb sound. (music playing) It's got that nice big tail at the end of it or Reverb. I might try the Squirreling Echo sound as well. (music playing) I think after hearing some examples, I would like use Large Reverb Preset, but it's actually little bit too large for my taste, this sort of really huge strong echo at the end. (music playing) It's kind of a little too dramatic, so what you can do with any one of these presets is, again, sort of use them as a starting place and make edits, and you can do that by clicking the Edit tab here and looking at the individual effects that actually make up that preset.
For example, in this case we're dealing with a compressor, a track reverb, some EQ. Those are the effects that are currently installed in this preset. To adjust the parameters for my reverb, we can just click here and get access to all the parameters that make up that individual sound. So we have Reverb Time, which is how long that reverb tail stretches out. I think I want to make that a little bit shorter, because I think it was too dramatic, so I will just test that. (music playing) It is still there, but it's not quite as long. And also I might want to actually bring the volume of the reverb itself down a little bit, and the original volume of my guitar itself, the dry sound, up a little bit more, adjust the mix if you will, between the Reverb sound and the guitar sound.
(music playing) All right, so that's a pretty good starting place for my real instrument track for the acoustic guitar.
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